After my past two trips to the Dominican Republic, I realized how important Infant and Maternal health is in regards to community and individuals. I also learned how much I enjoyed this topic because mommies are awesome and babies are cute- both deserve the best healthcare. In a vulnerable, poorer population, you can evaluate the level of health communication and policy by looking at infant and maternal mortality rates. When babies and mothers are dying in large proportions relative to the size of their communities- there is always a larger problem at hand. This could include cholera and diarrhea from dirty water, thus unclean food. This ties into Epidemiology as well because illnesses that can be taken care of fairly well in the states are lethal for people that don’t have access to a simple clinic or hospital and are still vulnerable to the bad water; poverty typically renders women and children unable to move to a new area. When in the U.K., I’d like to learn if and how they’ve improved this aspect of healthcare with the discovery of bacteria and viruses. I’d also like to gain some insight on the health policies in place to benefit women and children.
It follows that the second area in which I’m interested is health policy and management. This branch of public health shapes the way in which people are allowed to live their lives and the quality of care they receive so I think it’s of great importance. Although not all populations are the same, every group can learn from one another in this area. For example, U.S. policy makers are struggling between privatization and open access to health care for many reasons, including the lack of funding allocated to health. It's important to our health as citizens, that preventative measures receive the least amount of money within the small healthcare budget. So I’m interested in learning about how compromise is reached in the U.K. to cover as much of the population as possible. I'd also like to learn more about how health care was administered and regulated since major developments such as penicillin occurred.
Health promotion and communication is the third area of which I’d like to explore more. In the DR, we conducted hand washing workshops for the children in rural communities. Unlike the U.S. where there are many messages and requirements for students to learn about how to remain healthy and what shots to get, the children in these rural communities did not have access, thus making them vulnerable to diseases. Although the U.K. is different from both countries I mentioned, I’m sure they face similar challenges. So learning about how they spread knowledge throughout the urban and rural regions of the country is very exciting to me.
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